Wednesday, October 29, 2008

make it shine

the sisters of mercy. the phoenix. two goth fangirls out of their minds with excitement. this was my tuesday night.

i reminisced on twitter yesterday that if this were the old days - and by that, i mean if this were the sordid days when i had crappy part-time retail jobs that i could easily skip a day on - i would have spent tuesday calling in all my connections, stalking downtown hotels and hanging around the venue as early as humanly possible. as it was, though, i had to work a full day, so i spent tuesday morning and afternoon trying not to bounce off my cubicle in sheer excitement. (rabid phone calls and texts to fellow sistergoer jenna and lurking on the heartland forums did not help. nor did listening to an exclusively sisters-filled playlist on my ipod all day.)

but hey, i figured, why not. it had been a sadly long time since i'd gotten so excited over seeing a band live, and i'm always glad to know i'm still capable of it. i feel like i'd lose a big part of myself if i couldn't feel that excitement anymore.

anyway! the work day eventually/finally ended and i booked it home at top speed, yanked on my pvc military outfit (fetish wear ought to be de rigueur at sisters shows -- i know von would approve), and hopped the next bus eastward to get to the club. ended up waiting in the freezing cold for only about an hour, which wasn't too bad except for the fact that my toes were stiff and numb inside my stiletto-heeled boots by the time jenna and i got inside. from there on, it was merch-booth invading (i picked up a girly t-shirt with the sisters logo on the front and partial lyrics from "burn" on the back, and a set of four buttons -- my favourite reads "militant sex machine" and it's now on my coat lapel), trying to get the feeling back in our appendages, and staking our solid claim in the front row for the show. we wouldn't have settled for anything less.

but still, here's the thing: i know i came late to the sisters party. jenna's been a fan since she was a teenager ("i didn't come late to the party," she said, "i just didn't leave on time!"), and i know probably 90% of that room were fans long before i ever was. hell, there were people there my parents' age -- and my parents are in their sixties. (well, my dad, at least -- my mom's still pushing it) but i kind of hope my fervent love for their music would balance out any pathetic newbie-ism and spare me from elitists' scorn; after all, this was this music i was overdosing on just as i was getting ready to leave toronto (for what i thought was forever), and then my soundtrack for long lonely days spent wandering aimlessly in gray, rainy vancouver. this was music that meant something deep to me. the fact that i was going to get to see it performed live in front of me? well, that's the reason most people even go to concerts, isn't it?

and man oh man, was this one ever worth it. fog machines, lights, and so many of my sentimental favourites.

i know some oldskool fans who aren't pleased at the new-rock reworkings of the old songs, but i totally and completely dug them. it was so fucking cool to hear a drumbeat and sort of recognize a melody line, and then all of a sudden you realized it was "train" (which came third in the set, amalgamated with "detonation boulevard" at the end, and it sounded lightyears better than it did in 1983) or "marian" (absolutely fucking incredible as a redo, with german lyrics section intact!) and then the full familiarity would come back. and then you'd end up shrieking and dancing and singing your heart out. (at least, if you were jenna or i or a good many number of the surprisingly packed room)

the band? excellent. ben and chris may be at least twenty years younger than the original ilk - not to mention the almighty von eldritch himself - but they took those old classics and rocked the shit out of them. even the new songs - "summer," "will i dream?", and omfg "we are the same, susanne" omfg omfg i nearly cried - were top quality. and speaking of top quality, von both looked and sounded great up there. couldn't get my eyes off the man the entire time, and i think i must have been staring up at him like he was god or something. it was during "alice" that he did that little hand gesture he makes in the "lucretia my reflection" video (they played a brief version of that song as one of the three encores), and i turned to jenna and utterly lost my shit. so ridiculously excellent.

oh, and there was an afterward. come on, it's me. of course there was.

in brief: because - as i remarked to my boyfriend later - "i don't exactly dress to fade into the background", my outfit of this (exact same jacket and skirt, though i had to wear black tights or risk frostbitten ladybits) got plenty of attention from many of my fellow concertgoers. that in itself was very nice (one guy even came over to say, "you are the best thing i have ever seen at any sisters concert i've been to!"), and it did help me score a set list when one of the roadies ignored all the bros reaching for it to hand it to me instead, but it was all even nicer when i experienced the time-honoured tradition of crew approaching with the magic words: "hey, you wanna meet the band?" uh, yes. yes please.

so, went upstairs. met the band. stream-of-consciousness idiot babble for far too long. andrew commented on the fact that i was shaking, and i totally was, and i think i turned bright red and apologized and told them for the hundredth time how awesome they were tonight. yet it was probably good that i made a gaffe when i did -- i let slip that i was a music journalist, to which andrew smiled politely, thanked me and led me out of the room, shutting the door.

he really hates music journalists, by the way.

but hey, like i said, probably good i made the gaffe when i did -- i had a friend waiting, i was sort of making an idiot of myself with my giddy fangirl chatter (i estimate i was maybe a minute or two away from bursting into tears), and i was also a bit uncomfortable being the only girl (scantily clad girl, even) backstage with three male rock stars. you ever feel like a piece of meat in a shark tank? yeah, like that. i know that scenario and i know how it can go - plus i very well know what i looked like - and i don't have an interest for that anymore. so, i bowed my head and made my hasty exit. (didn't stop me from shrieking in excitement all up and down the sidewalk outside, though. come on, getting dismissed by andrew eldritch?? holy crap, career high)

so, went home, proudly pasted up my set list (which i'm still kicking myself for having not gotten autographed, but my brain was an overloaded mess in that dressing room) with ticket stub and backstage pass over my bed, and fell asleep with a huge goofy grin on my face. another one of my most-favourite legendary bands seen live and in person, both in performance and face to face.


[ music | the sisters of mercy, "summer" (live) ]


Christine Estima said...

i love your giddy-meeting-rock-star stories.

i booked my flight home, december 12th, i'm back beehotch!

we must rush a stage together.


Sofi said...